Rough wood walls and exposed brick-and mortar accents frame wood-topped tables at Sante Fe Cattle Company, lending it the look of an Old West ranch or corner saloon. Behind walls covered with western movie posters and cowboy portraits, the kitchen staff cuts steaks by hand, commands yeast rolls to rise, and builds sauces from scratch instead of melting them from freeze-dried blocks. The kitchen follows precise family recipes to grace tabletops with a menu of southern-style favorites, such as hickory-smoked ribs, chicken-fried steak, and fried catfish fillets. Live music fills the room on certain nights, and mist fans on the outdoor patio cool people off after a long day on the range or singing about spending the days on one.
If the wooden tables that stretch across Country Kitchen’s dining room were any less sturdy, they would buckle under the weight of the sizzling platters of Southern fare that chefs trot out for unlimited buffets. Old-time recipes of fried and baked chicken vie for attention alongside a menu of specialties that rotate daily; the weekend’s seafood gumbo and fried catfish give way to succulent barbecued sausages that can spice up any Monday. Southern cuisine is known for its show-stealing sides and desserts, and Country Kitchen delivers in spades on both counts. Fried hush puppies and vegetable dishes refuse to take a backseat to their main-course counterparts, and a dessert bar exudes nostalgia with heaping servings of bread pudding, peach cobbler, and ice cream. Between bites, guests seated under cheerful framed artworks or beside a colorful rooster statue can reminisce about childhoods spent wrestling catfish or plucking ripe morsels of corn bread fresh from the vine.
Sarita's Mexican Grill & Cantina owner Rudi Gomez owes his restaurant’s panoply of authentic fajitas, enchiladas, and tacos to his mother’s time-tested catalog of Mexican specialties. The steam rising from bowls of chicken tortilla soup and sizzling shrimp fajitas caught the eye of WAFB Channel 9's Culinary Corner hosts, who recently invited Rudi into their studios to share some of his recipes and tortilla-tossing techniques. When not evoking desert sunsets with their multicolored arrangements of rice, salsas, and crisp tomatoes, Rudi and his fellow chefs stray across the border to cook up local favorites such as hand-patted burgers and po boys. Signature margaritas entrance taste buds in a medley of flavor infusions, and frothy brews douse the lingering fires of hot salsa. Outdoor tables invite warm-weather lounging with free WiFi and bottles of sour cream to lather on in lieu of sunscreen.
As a sports-nutrition store and smoothie shop, Sunset Smoothie blends fruit and health boosters into tasty performance drinks. These smoothies suit many kinds of diet and exercise plans by serving up both low-fat and muscle-building treats that come in a variety of sweet flavors. Even the indulgent Cheat Days smoothies use Splenda in lieu of sugar, sweetening flavors including banana split and cookies ‘n’ cream. Lacto-sensitive sippers can indulge in allergen-free soy smoothies blended with ice and fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, and bananas. Extras pulled from the supplement side of the store enhance smoothies with Muscle Milk, creatine, and vitamin B-12, resulting in a more fortifying drink than Hulk Hogan’s upper-lip sweat.
Nooley's, an high-ceilinged eatery on Highway 44, welcomes patrons with cold beer, comfort food staples, and football games on the flat-screen TV. Po' boys with au jus gravy, shrimp tossed in wing sauce, and fresh-cut curly fries loaded with cheddar cheese, bacon, and other toppings are just a few of the treats on the menu.
Since 2003, Charlie Brown's Family Sports Grill & Bar has paired an extensive menu of grilled sandwiches, steaks, and seafood with a feast for the eyes made up of 25 large flatscreen televisions. The restaurant's buffalo chicken wings come with or without bones, just like the majestic buffalo chickens of yesteryear, and its charbroiled and grilled burgers are piled with enough delicious bacon, cheese, and sautéed mushrooms to distract children from the kids' arcade for a while. Dishes such as fried soft-shell crab and shrimp alfredo offer a seafood angle to the entree list, which also documents chicken-fried steak and 14-ounce rib eyes served, and 8-ounce filets served with with veggies and mashed potatoes. To help guests to wash down hearty meals and salute the local sports memorabilia draped on the walls, the bartenders have composed a long list of beers, specialty drinks, and wines.